Around this time three years ago, the Brooklyn Nets were celebrating as a franchise after signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2019 free agency, instantly transforming the Nets, a franchise that had never won a championship, into a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference.
Three years later, everything is falling apart for the Nets, and they still have no championships. Kevin Durant has asked for a trade, and if he gets it, Kyrie Irving will almost certainly follow him out the door in Brooklyn.
So much has gone wrong for the Nets in both on-court and management terms over the previous three seasons, leading to what has been a high-drama, worrying summer.
Despite this, both All-Stars remain on Brooklyn’s roster, as trade discussions appear to have stalled.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Brooklyn has “no traction” on a deal for Irving or Durant and is being patient since they “do not have to move either.” However, Wojnarowski pointed out that maintaining two All-Stars is not the best option for the franchise.
Woj: “The Lakers have yet, I'm told, to be aggressive in trying to put a deal together to get him [Kyrie] from BKN. That may come, that may evolve with time. But so far right now, there's no traction really on deals with either Irving or Durant."
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 4, 2022
On June 30, the opening of free agency and the day Durant notified Nets owner Joseph Tsai that he wanted to be dealt, the Kevin Durant sweepstakes truly heated up.
Almost the whole league has asked about Durant’s availability, submitting multiple trade ideas in an attempt to get the generational superstar, but the Nets have not received any favourable offers.
The Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns remain two of the more active clubs pursuing Durant, but neither side appears to be close to a deal.
Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, has generated relatively little trade market interest, with the Los Angeles Lakers being the only team displaying significant interest. Still, no trade involving Irving is on the table for either the Nets or the Lakers.
As the offseason progresses, including free agency, a deal involving Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving might occur at any point. Given the Nets’ asking prices for both players in trade talks, it seems equally probable that no deal will be reached.
The future of both All-Stars is still up in the air in the NBA.